A few days ago, I was sitting in a local coffee shop killing some time while I waited for the bus. One article in partiuclar stuck out to me. It was discussing the challenges that families now face when enrolling children in sports, or even in more casual recreational activity programs like those offered at City of Hull Athletic Club. The authors focused on the specific challenge of cost, whereby children and families are exposed to a huge amount of athletic gear and “practical apparel” and being told that absolutely all of this is necessary. It’s not like every family has infinite funds for exercise gear, but they also want the best for their children, so it’s often hard to say no. Moreover, this predicamint is also true for the adults themselves, the article just chose not to focus on that. Therefore, in this article, we would like to highlight two pieces of apparel that we found especially valuable for children and adults alike, both in terms of improving performance and preventing injuries.
Compression socks are very trendy these days. They may just look like another fancy sporting item that isn’t entirely necessary, but they are great, especially for those in endurance sports who spend a lot of time on their feet. The general idea is that with graduated compression from the feet up (that is, tighter around your ankles and gradually loosening up the leg) will promote venous return, ultimately improving circulation in your feet, ankles, and legs.
Many endurance runners swear by these as items that improve performance, while some others say they don’t like the feeling of an extra item. We hesitate to say they can actually increase performance in running or any other sport, as the evidence seems contradictory at best; however, they have proven useful in the context of injury prevention. Compression socks help promote faster healing by virtue of increased blood flow, and they also decrease the risk of venous conditions in those who stand for long periods of time.
Overall, while these items certainly aren’t absolutely necessary, they are great budget items for someone looking for an extra boost during exercise, or those who have circulation problems in the lower extremities.
Many of the accidents we see when people exercise, especially during the winter, result from falls. This is especially common with local runners who are on the trails almost every day and are brave anough to bear wet and/or cold conditions. Even based purely on statistics, the chances of a fall simply from being in that sort of environment much more often is drastically increased, and this can have devasting consequences, especially for those in a senior population.
There isn’t really any ground-breaking advice here, other than to invest in a good pair of running shoes that have solid traction. Most of these types of runners now come with non-marking soles, so they can be highly versatile. At the City of Hull Athletic Club, outdoor shoes are allowed to be worn inside, so long as they don’t mark the floor. For an exremely reliable brand of grippy running shoes, we suggest checking out these non-slip running shoes for various applications. Some of them aren’t runners, but a few are, and they all provide a high level of traction for injury prevention.
In order to start narrowing down the seemingnly infinite list of exercise items that you can buy, we suggest first focusing on what matters to you most, so that you can prioritize. For example, if you have a history of injuries or falls, maybe you want to prioritize good shoes or other proective equipment. If you are solely focused on breaking your personal best time, then you may want to dig a little further into the scientific literature about what apparel is proven to improve performance. You don’t need everything that is available, but having a confident sense of what you need can certainly help optimize your selection.